Lyme disease in COVID-19 pandemic could be overlooked.

Don’t forget about cancer in a COVID-19 pandemic, states Cortiula and colleagues in their article “Managing COVID-19 in the oncology clinic and avoiding the distraction effect.” [1] “Diverting the attention exclusively to the COVID-19 situation and overshadowing the everyday clinical practice may have substantial negative implications, especially for cancer patients.”

 

Cortiula and colleagues express concern that the diversion of resources might stretch an already fragile system. The diversion might lead to worse outcomes. “It is well established that delayed oncologic surgery may lead to disease progressions and result in tumors no longer resectable, leading to worse survival outcomes,” the authors wrote.  Could Lyme disease in a covid-19 pandemic be overlooked?

Don’t forget about Lyme disease in COVID-19 pandemic. Click To Tweet

They raised similar concerns for cancer prevention. “The same risk is present for the people who have scheduled screening activities (e.g. screening mammography for the early diagnosis of breast cancer).”

My practice is already seeing an unusually high number of patients with tick bites. This may be due to the onset of warmer weather, coupled with the number of families spending time outdoors, as they remain home during the COVID-19 crisis.

I have patients who have been reluctant to see a doctor due to a quarantine or social distancing guidelines. They are resistant to seek care out of concern that they will burden an already strained medical system. Yet, prompt treatment for Lyme disease is critical and reduces the risk of chronic illness.

My patients have expressed great appreciation for being able to utilize telemedicine.

References:
  1. Cortiula, F., et al., Managing COVID-19 in the oncology clinic and avoiding the distraction effect. Ann Oncol, 2020.
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